Shortbread has to be one of my favourite holiday cookies, I mean it is so easy to make and that melt in your mouth buttery goodness is almost impossible to resist! Although plain shortbread is amazing you can fill it with pretty much anything from simple to gourmet and from sweet to savoury even. Taking a queue from my candied orange peel shortbread I had been wanting to try a festive version with bright red maraschino cherries, though instead of coating them with chocolate this time I was going to add the chocolate to the cookies along with the cherries. I was however a little torn between whether to use white or dark chocolate as white chocolate seemed more festive but dark chocolate goes so well with cherries. In the end the easiest solution was to make a batch of both and besides you can’t have too much shortbread.
The chocolate and maraschino cherry shortbread cookies did not disappoint! I was quite pleased at how the red from the cherries swirled into the cookie dough and both the white and dark chocolate versions turned out amazingly well!
Feel free to drizzle them with or dip them in even more chocolate! 🙂
Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread filled with maraschino cherries and chocolate and optionally drizzled with or dipped in more chocolate.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped and patted dry
- 1/2 cup white and/or dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces white and/or dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
- Cream the butter and the sugar.
- Mix the flour and the salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until it starts forming larger clumps.
- Mix in the maraschino cherries, white chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Form the dough into the shape that you want, wrap it in plastic and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. (I did a rectangular log but you could also do a circular log.)
- Cut the log into 1/4 inch thick slices and place them on a parchment lined baking pan with one inch of space between them.
- Bake in a preheated 325F/170C oven until they just start to turn lightly golden brown on top, about 10-15 minutes.
- Let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. (optional)
- Dip the cookies into the chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper and let cool until the chocolate sets. (optional)
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Chocolate Cherry Balsamic Goat Cheese Shortbread
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I am stealing this one, if only for the fabulous color of those cookies!
Pam Pruett says
I was very disappointed in this beautiful looking cookies. They were mealy and bitter tasting, didn’t have the consistency of a cookie at all. They are the most awful tasting cookies I have ever made, I personally feel like they needed more sugar. Don’t know if that would have helped or not.
Adding this one to my cookies tray at Christmas this year and using the chocolate drizzle. They look wonderful!!!!!
Rebecca M says
This looks yummy. The recipe looks simple to cut in half so, I just might have to make these before I head to my sisters house for Christmas on Friday.
Shortbread is one of my favorites as well. 🙂
Naomi at The Occasional Indulgence says
Mmm I needed this recipe! Thanks!!
Looks yummy. But do I really need to do that shaping stuff or can I just put a ball shape on the cookie sheet and then flatten?
I can't believe this but I've never actually made shortbread for the holidays! It's time I change that with these babies. I love that you mixed maraschinos into these!
Anonymous: Shortbread retains it shape well when baked so if you put it in ball shaped it will come out mostly ball shaped. That is not necessarily bad and I like shortbread snowballs, ball shaped shortbread dusted in powdered sugar.
Hi Kevin You have really done it all my favorites things together in these cookies. I am going shopping and these will go in my Shristmas baskets for my friends along with the bacon jam and a few others of yours and bottled cookie mixes of mine. God bless you and yoursand have a wonderful CHRISTmas season, Linzi
I am making this today!!! It looks awesome and I love the pretty colors, happy holidays, kevin!! anne
That looks amazing!!!!!! I want one like now!! Love your blog and have been stalking for sometime .. thank you for all your amazing recipes!!! 🙂
Do these cookies call for candied cherries or the kind from the jar with the syrup drained? I see some cherries in the background but I can't tell from the final product what kind are actually used. Thank you!
Rebecca M says
I made these last night and used my cookie scoop instead of cutting them. I flattened the balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in powdered sugar so that they wouldn't stick to it. I'm bringing a bag of them to my hair stylist today as a Christmas gift.
Sweet Tooth says
These look incredible. I would definitely throw in walnuts too for an added nuttiness.
Anonymous: I used maraschino cherries and they will be labeled that. They usually come in a jar with syrup and they are whole with the stems on. Candied cherries would probably also good though.
[email protected] says
Merry Christmas, Kevin ! I have some green cherries needing used up so hoping they will work in these cookies of yours..
Seems like the maraschino cherries would make the cookies wet.after a bit
Kenvin, Are you really as slim as you appear in your photo??? Your recipes are tremendous, but I am afraid that the calorie count is too high for me to try as many as I would like…
[email protected] Bayswater Hotels says
Cherry short bread cookies look so yummy. Simple recipe. I like the recipe saving option it’s very useful.
Oh, I´m in! It looks so colourful and easy, I cann´t find an excuse! 🙂 Happy holidays!
Ela Bitaj says
I did that las night and the cookies didn't turn out to be any good.I did everything according to the recipe… and they were dry
[email protected] Green maraschino would also work!
Unknown: By the time you are done slicing all cherries, tere will not be much liquid on them and the will not make the cookies soggy.
I made them and they are good. However, I used dark chocolate chips (Nestle), I would coarsely chop them. They were too big so when I sliced the cookies they started to fall apart. They also took closer to 20 minutes to cook.
Kevin – could you add 1 hour to the total prep time? I didn't realize it until I had them mixed and didn't take into account the 1 hour fridge time. Thanks for the recipe!
Anonymous: I am glad that you enjoyed them! When I cut them I generally get a few chips coming out but the hold together. Chopping the chips would definitely help with this but you would not have those large chunks of chocolate. How thick did you cut your cookies? Good catch, I have updated the time to include the chill time.
Amy (Savory Moments) says
These look very festive. I only ever really eat Maraschino cherries when I splurge on a Manhattan. But, I think they'd be great in a shortbread cookie, especially with chocolate!
Rebecca Campana says
Ok, must tell you. Every time now, without fail, when I click on an image for a recipe that appeals to me, it has been one of yours! Seriously, every time. You sure know how to rock a closet-sized kitchen. Keep 'em coming 🙂
Hey Kevin, I made these and they turned out pink from the maraschino cherries. Is there anyway to prevent that?
Anonymous: Try not to get too much of the maraschino cherry liquid into the batter and mix as little as possible when mixing in the cherries. I get little pink streaks in mine but the whole cookies do not normally turn pink. Enjoy the cookies!
Averie @ Averie Cooks says
These remind me of something my grandma used to make when I was a kid and I loved them! Oh wow, I would love to sample one of these beauties!
I made them round shaped and rectangle shaped. They looked so pretty in my daughter's cookie gift bags for her teachers. I also just plopped a spoonfull of soft dough onto the pan and baked it. It came out really pretty and swirly. My first batch came out really pretty pink. My second batch I drained the cherries while I mixed the dough then I chopped them up, sopped up the juice with a paper towel and the pink was more
swirled than fully throughout. They were still beautiful. And shortbread is supposed to be "dry" if I recall. Everyone loved them.
Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ says
What a festive treat! Love these cookies.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made them twice and served them to people who loved them! The first time I thought that the cherry flavor was a bit weak, but the second time I accidentally bought a cheaper store-brand of cherries (probably with a hit of artificial flavor) and they were better!
Looks awesome! I reckon I could eat about 100 of them in one go!
I have the dough chilling in the fridge right now and it looks pretty good. The only thing i would change is instead of using maraschino cherries i would use candied cherries as the dough is stained red a bit due to the juices leaking from the maraschino cherries. (its not a pretty red)
these are so pretty! sound yummy too.
Made these today for Valentines. Shaped the dough so when I sliced the cookies they were in the shape of a heart. The cherries did "bleed" into my dough a bit, but it made them even more festive. I would have never thought about putting maraschino cherries into cookies–great idea!
I made these for Valentines Day and they taste as great as they look. This is the first of your recipes I have tried, but it will definitely not be the last.
I made these and they were so delicious, I can't wait to do another batch!! Definitely a recipe keeper!! Thanks!! 😉
To cut back on how juicy the cherries are chop, measure,spread on paper towel to drain a few minutes, and then spread on wax paper and freeze until ready to mix into the recipe. Use a tray lined with wax paper and spread out evenly so that cherries don't clump together. This works for any juicy fruit that needs to be mixed with dough or bread.
Okay, so I made these the other day because they just look too delicious not to, right? Anyway… I did come across a few mishaps while making them. The first, my cookies came out pink. I wonder if I were to rinse them thoroughly or if I were to freeze much like "Annonymous" stated above, then that would not happen? Also – my cookies crumbled. I don't know why. I followed the recipe accordingly (except I put chocolate chips because I had them on hand). I kept adjusting the size of my cuts then to see if making them skinnier or thicker would help with that problem, but each time I cut, and came across the chocolate chips, my cookie would crumble. It was devistating. I just sat there re-molding them into circles.
I didn't know if there was something I was missing? Like a need-to-know fact about cutting shortbread?
They were delicious though and my entire family gobbled them up. And despite them being pink, they were still beautiful. I am definitely going to try these again, but try the different thing with the cherry and hopefully figure out how to cut shortbread.
sammijean: I am glad that you enjoyed the cookies and I am sorry to hear that you had problems cutting them with the chocolate chips. I try to get the dough as chilled as possible and then I use my sharpest knife which cuts through the chips nicely. I do sometimes get chips that are on the edge pop out rather than be cut but since they are on the edge it is easy to push them back onto the cookies.
Touching the Past says
I made these to share but ended up eating them all myself – so delicious!! And I especially like that they don't consume a lot of time to make!
can these be frozen 1 month before serving?
Anonymous: Freezing for a month should be fine!
Do these need to be stored in the fridge or can they be stored in a container at room temp?
Anonymous: I normally store them at room temperature but I usually finish them within a week or two. Maraschino cherries have a lot of sugar and salt in them which acts as a preservative. If you plan on making them further ahead or if you want to be on the safe side you can store them in the fridge or freezer.
This is my most favorite cookie of all time!!! Make them all year long, not just Christmas
Jersey Girl Cooks says
Just saw these on Facebook. They are going on my holiday cookie tray!
Any suggestions for an alternative to the cherries? Love the color, but not a fan of maraschino cherries…
Anonymous: How about dried cranberries?
Harriet Klinklemeyer says
I am using dried cherries instead of maraschino. I understand shortbread dough is fairly dry. I can form a ball in my hand and it stays formed. But for the life of me I cannot get a log/roll formed and I am using parchment. What is the trick?
Harriet Klinklemeyer: I actually just pulled a batch of these out of the oven 10 minutes ago! You have to be gentle with the dough, forming it into the log more with your hands than by rolling it. Once you get it to form a log, when you slice it the knife going through the chocolate chips may cause some of the cookies to crumble and you can just reform any that break into a new log and slice them again. Enjoy!
I made your lime meltaways first and they've turned out great! My issue with this particular recipe is that my first batch of dough was reaallyy sticky. I notice that this recipe didn't call for corn starch, so I added it to my second batch and didn't have any trouble.
Ginny: This recipe should work without the cornstarch, did your cherries have a lot of excess liquid on them? As a shortbread this recipe could easily see some of the flour being replaced by cornstarch.
Oh my goodness I made them today and they are soo good! I made them to give to my co-workers but I kinda wanna keep them to myself! >:) I do wish that i used mini chocolate chips so there was less crumbledge when I cut them though!
Maria Valquíria says
Hello Kevin, I'm from Brazil, I love your recipes. wish you the best of the best in this New Year. I hope others find their recipes. A hug
I'm going to try them now..someone asked if you could add nuts,,,,,can you?
If i don't have parchment paper should I grease the pan?
Anonymous: Adding nuts will work but chop them first so that the cookies are easier to slice.
Anonymous: Yes, grease the pan if you do not use parchment paper. Enjoy!
I was looking for a "grown-up" cookie to give as Valentine's for my sons' teachers along with a Starbucks gift card. I made half a batch last night as a test. I have never made shortbread and don't really recall eating any shortbread, so I wanted to pretest the cookies. OMG! They are so wonderful! Just what I was looking for. Elegant with a beautiful flavor. My husband complained that there wasn't enough cherries but that was my fault as when I went to make them I only had 5 cherries left. Lol
How many cookies is one serving
Mama Knowsbest says
For some reason, when I first glanced at the photo of the cookies with the dark chocolate, I didn't see chocolate chips — I saw blue berries. Which got me thinking of the 4th of July . . . maybe do the white chip version and drizzle with white chocolate colored blue? Could be really pretty.
Angela Baker says
Cherries and chocolate is one of my favorite combos…I'm making these this week!! Thanks for the great recipes 🙂
they sound so good can not wait to try them!
Ok a few notes:
I added almond extract instead of vanilla. I put it in when I creamed the sugar and butter.
I used mini chocolate chips
I baked at 350 for 10 minutes and then rotated the trays and then another 10. They’re perfect.
These are amazing!
Kristen Dunegan says
I wish I had read comments before making a double batch of these. This cookie is bland and not sweet enough in my opinion. I am going to dip in sugar before baking the rest. My family will eat them but I can put these on my cookie platters that I give out.